Analog-to-Digital Book - Association.TV

We get our inspiration from working with associations and helping them leverage the power of video and multimedia to become more profitable, purposeful and predictable. The lessons we've highlighted in the book are featured on this page with examples. Demonstrating that associations can and should use video and multimedia strategically to improve engagement. When engagement improves, so will retention, recruitment and revenues.

The Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals (ANFP) exemplifies the digital-first mindset with their industry insights series. Industry research that would have previously been circulated to members as dense written reports are now broken-up and distributed in bite-sized videos. As a result, engagement with this research has never been higher. View ANFPtv's Industry Insights Series

Chapter One Summary

  1. Your members are expecting you to be digital-first. Especially your new and future members who will measure their experience against their other digital and social media experiences.
  2. Digital associations have databases linked throughout the organization that are updated in real time.
  3. A digital association tries new tactics and strategies and adopts successes quickly and discards failures even faster.
  4. An association leader of a digital-first association is bold open and curious.
  5. Your website is the hub for everything. All other digital channels are used to funnel the user back to the website for a controlled brand experience where it is simple to find, consume and act on content that members (and prospective members) need.
  6. Digital associations have a constant flow of great multimedia (video, podcast, webinar, document) content and use a platform integrated into their website to keep the experience on brand while allowing for the distribution and measurement of each content piece.
  7. A digital association is positioning their technology and data management with AI to personalize the experience for members as appropriate.
  8. The board supports rapid experimentation, learning and adoption.
  9. Becoming a digital-first association is more of a cultural change rather than a technical one. Why first, how second.

Chapter Two Summary

  1. Understanding the why of your association is the key to engaging and inspiring members.
  2. If the why is not clear to you, it won’t be clear to your members.
  3. How content is presented about your why will determine the member’s buy in.
  4. Members consume content by, scanning, deciding, consuming, and finally, acting on that content.
  5. Where do you rank on Google when you search for your why?
  6. Members join your association for educational content that delivers on the why.
  7. Deliver a variety of multimedia content formats on your very best content and use omnichannel distribution to make it easy for members and prospects to find, consume, engage and act. Give “read, watch and listen” formats to appeal to all members’ tastes and preferences.
  8. Measure your engagement and incorporate member feedback in your content planning for continual improvement and watch your engagement grow. When engagement grows, so do the 3 R’s - retention, recruitment and revenues.

The Material Handling Industry (MHI) does an annual research project with Deloitte & Touche to stay on top of the key topics that will influence their members’ future success. From Robotics to Predictive Analytics to Sensors and the Internet of Things, MHI releases micro-learning videos on these key topics every two weeks to keep members informed, educated and inspired, all year long. This strategy complements their conferences, magazines and newsletters with rich and relevant, on-demand learning. MHI ensures that their content delivers what members are looking for and is aligned with their why!

Chapter Three Summary

  1. NexGen is defined as generations X, Y, and Z.
  2. They expect a mobile-first experience.
  3. The Internet is about giving first and asking second.
  4. Content needs to be visual and entertaining.
  5. Only post micro-marketing content on social platforms that drive viewers back to your site – or risk social media making you irrelevant.
  1. Make your website a hub of free micro-learning content. Then deliver long-form or specialized content as member-only or subscription-based (or both).
  2. Because free is expected, leverage sponsors who are looking to sponsor content your members are consuming.

The Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) repurposed their conference sessions (on average one-hour-long) into two additional formats. First, 2 to 3-minute, micro-learning video that would inform, educate and inspire members to click through to the full session recording if they needed more detail. Secondly, to promote the content on social media for members and prospective members, a 30-second micro-marketing format was used to drive people to the AWHONN platform, where they could view the micro-learning and full-session in the AWHONN brand environment. Only members are allowed into the full-session content, demonstrating another value of membership. Non-members see a ‘click-to-join’ option where they can learn more about AWHONN and becoming a member. Why is this important? It is taking one piece of content - a conference session - and makes it a tool for recruitment, retention and revenue generation. It is simplifying the journey between the awareness and conversion, and it elevates the value of membership for all.

Chapter Four Summary

  1. Your member demographics are changing. A boomer retires every 8 seconds. How are you replacing them? How are you retaining the boomers you have?
  2. More than 80% of your membership and prospective members are visual learners.
  3. Members want their education in bite-sized pieces to allow them to learn on the fly.
  4. NexGens are not “easy joiners” and do not like to pay dues.
  5. Content needs to be educational and mobile.

The Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) understands how important it is to engage young people. Not just for membership, but to fill the growing demand for careers in the supply chain. To help their members, MHEDA created a video that speaks to the vast array of careers that are available and allowed members to use this video on their website to help them with their recruitment challenges. MHEDA not only uses video to educate members, it has now become a new member service. When associations help members with their business problems, you truly add value. See how MHEDA uses video as a member service

Chapter Five Summary

  1. Social media should be measured in conversions, not likes.
  2. Your social media strategy needs to align with your overall content strategy. Social media is not about posting content – it is the marketing of your real content on your website.
  3. Social media platforms use Artificial Intelligence to learn about your members habits and preferences.
  4. Social media platforms will serve content to your members that is competitive to your message and brand.
  5. Social media platforms redirect your members by serving up advertisements around and after your posts.
  6. Post micro-marketing content on social that drives your member/prospect back to your website where you can control the user experience.
  7. Make the experience on your website rich with natural “next steps” the way social media does – and watch engagement grow.

Many associations share too much of their full content on social media, allowing artificial intelligence to learn more about their members then they do. By doing this, they are funding their competitor. Realizing this, but also understanding that they shouldn’t ignore social media as a recruitment tool, the American Society for Quality (ASQ) releases a short (30-seconds or less) episode to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. This post drives traffic to a micro-learning (3 to 5-minute educational episode) that they post on their website. The social media, or “micro-marketing,” releases have created awareness and traffic back to ASQ’s environment where prospective members can learn and engage with them directly.

Chapter Six Summary

  1. Understand the difference between member benefits and the benefits that are the primary drivers of membership.
  2. Survey members and analyze data to find out what the drivers are.
  3. Only 15% of your members are attending your conferences.
  4. Capture your conference digitally and repurpose it appropriately for digital engagement to offer content to members that don’t attend.
  5. Give existing members the same if not better content experience compared to prospects.
  6. Measure your content consumption and adjust continually.
  7. Centralize content planning by engaging all departments to create one content calendar based on a larger strategy.
  8. It takes more than four times the resources to get a new member than to retain one.
  9. Long-term members spend more than new members.

The Entrepreneurs Organization of Canada (EO) recently faced two issues. Their conferences featured valuable education and updates, but only a portion of members could attend. They were also looking for new ways to recruit qualified members. This led them to adopt a multimedia content strategy that extended budget and achieve a high ROI. They implemented a ‘Conference All Year Long’ model that converts a recorded conference session into several digestible assets. EO promoted the micro-learning content to members with easy log-in access to the full video, podcast or slides. Shorter versions were posted on social media to drive new viewers to the micro-learning page and create conversion opportunities. Non-members trying to access full content were redirected to learn more about EO membership. Creating one content model that works for both retention and recruitment.

The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals’ (CSCMP) annual conference is an important event for the association and its regular sponsors. They want to position themselves as trustworthy allies. Unfortunately, lunch and lanyard sponsorships can only move the needle so far. CSCMP found that offering paid positions in a video recap was the ideal solution. This allows for sponsors to be seen as thought leaders in the eyes of members and delivers on lasting, measurable ROI. View the full landing page and sponsor banners

Chapter Seven Summary

  1. Marketing departments are now controlling sponsorships.
  2. Sponsors now have to show a return on investment and be measurable.
  3. Sponsors want to be known as experts to your members.
  4. Your sponsor’s marketing departments are looking to you as content creators and content distribution experts. If you don’t offer this, they will turn to the Internet to find other means to reach your members.
  5. Negotiating an annual sponsorship buy over multiple events is just as easy as negotiating for one event. Make it easy for sponsors to plan with you for an entire year or more.
  6. By planning to video appropriate content at a conference or event, you can save money on filming, production and content versioning. This content plan can be pre-sold to sponsors in advance or forecasted as subscription or pay-per-view revenue, to turn your video and multimedia offerings from a cost-center into a profit-center.

Chapter Eight Summary

  1. Members want individualized content choices like they get with Netflix.
  2. Content choices should include length, media type, and category.
  3. Enough content programming must be offered so the member finds the service worthy of their monthly or annual fee.
  4. Once a member chooses a category, send them visually stimulating emails promoting new content within that space.
  5. Niche content production means that same content can be repurposed for segmented recruitment.

The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) supports the needs of advanced practice nurses with online video and audio based continuing education. To take friction out of the buying process for continuing education, AANA adopted a subscription or “Netflix-styled” pricing model to their continuing education programs. The goal is to make it easier for members to engage with and consume continual learning opportunities. View the audio and video Knowledge Network from AANA.

A shift in demographics and technology created an opportunity for Mortgage Professionals Canada (MPC) to modernize the way they communicate important messages such as, advocacy issues. Today’s mortgage broker is younger, and busier than ever. Leading with video instead of print helps MPC deliver on its promise to educate and prove to membership their voice is powerful.

Chapter Nine Summary

  1. Instill a culture that embraces constant change.
  2. Add vendor partners as co-owners of major change initiatives to insulate from employee turnover and continual delays.
  3. Use vendors to help educate your boards to avoid delays in decision making. It will demonstrate to your board that although new and cutting edge, multimedia is probably not the first change implementation and is less risky when seen in this context.
  4. Create centralized content that has buy-in and input from all departments.
  5. If you don’t have internal resources to leverage content capture and production from your conferences, then partner with a vendor to assist with content development, production and deployment.

Next Steps

We have provided a free tool to help organizations shift from departmental and medium-centric planning to holistic and association wide content strategy. This tool is called the Association TV Online Playbook and takes less than 30 minutes for you and your colleagues to identify content opportunities in each department. A video-first planning model lowers the overall cost of production, drives multimedia assets and allows for omnichannel distribution and mobile consumption.

We hope this inspires your organization to move from Analog to Digital and leverage the practices that will improve your 3R’s - retention, recruitment and revenue.

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries’ (ISRI) video and multimedia platform, ISRI Studios is a one-stop portal. Members no longer have to know search in separate places for video, podcast or webinar content. They simply go to one place and find what they need. Organizing content by topic, speaker, theme (not by date) has made is easier for ISRI members (and prospects) to find the value they are looking for. This ultimately makes it easier for them to consume and act on content – which drives ROI. ISRI creates a community and promotes recurring visits for new content such as, their Weekly Market Report, webinars, podcasts and more. The traffic also generates monetization opportunities for ISRI through sponsorship, advertising and pay-per-view.

Dan Stevens attended the University of Manitoba, Faculty of Commerce, graduating with a Major in Marketing. After graduation, Dan held sales and marketing positions with IBM Canada Ltd., and ComputerLand Corporation before founding CSB Systems Ltd. in 1986. CSB Systems focused on helping companies improve their performance through the proper planning and deployment of operational and financial software and technology solutions. During this time, CSB Systems Ltd. became a leader in its field winning multiple awards, qualifying for multiple years in the top 1% of Microsoft Partners worldwide based on factors of customer satisfaction and business performance.

From 1986 through 2005, Dan built the company from a single location in Canada to a multi-location business with operations in seven cities in Canada and the USA before being acquired by Bell Canada Ltd. Dan helped manage the integration of CSB Systems and two other Bell acquisitions into a Solutions Group for Bell Canada as a Vice President of the organization before leaving the company in 2006.

After a short “retirement”, Dan’s entrepreneurial drive led him to create WorkerBee.TV, Inc. WorkerBee.TV is a video platform and production company that works with Associations, Publishers and Corporations. The company has a single purpose, “to make it simple and beneficial for our organizations to inform, educate and inspire their community – anywhere, anytime, on any device.”

Since 2007, Dan and his team have had the good fortune to work closely with many associations of all shapes and sizes. Working with these associations and seeing the patterns and trends across these organizations is what led Dan to create this book.

To add to his list of accomplishments, Dan was the founding President of the Winnipeg Chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (, a global non-profit with over 14,000 global members. Dan also spent 5 years on the EO International Board of Directors in various positions including Global President (1995–1996).

Dan lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada with his wife Barb. Together they have three adult daughters and can see (like most parents) the trends highlighted in this book close to home.